WHEN PRO-LIFE LAWS BECOME "WOLVES IN SHEEPS' CLOTHING"
By Dr. Patrick Johnston
March 3, 2013
Jesus warned, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
As director of the Assn. of Pro-Life Physicians, I was invited to offer my support for a “strong pro-life bill” in Texas. I’ve learned the hard way that not all that is labeled “pro-life” is. I read the proposed bill. Texas Senate Bill 537 would require abortion clinics to operate under the same minimum standards as ambulatory surgical facilities. The law would be expensive for abortion clinics. The law would make abortion safer for women at these facilities (though not for the baby). The law, it has been argued, would save lives by decreasing the number of profitable abortion clinics in Texas.
The law, however, is an imposter. A sheep by casual appearance, a wolf at heart.
Requiring abortion facilities to have minimum standards for operation permits abortion facilities to operate. They are not killing puppies in there. I could never permit abortion clinics to operate, for that is permitting people to violate God’s law and grieve God’s heart. It permits people to fatally assault innocent babies created in God’s image. It also permits something that is gravely unconstitutional, because neither the federal government nor the state “shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process” (U.S. and Texas Constitutions). In passing this law, the State would be violating the law of the land and the law of God in permitting abortion clinics to operate.
Would this “permission with a caveat” prevent some abortions? Possibly. The reason I say possibly is because a similar thing has been done in Mississippi in requiring physicians in abortion clinics to be privileged at a hospital, and the courts have permitted the clinic to buck the law. The courts!
I suspect that the proponents of such “pro-life” laws really want to save lives, but their strategy is based upon the premise that we can only do what the courts permit. The courts are not God. They have no more right than terrorists to kill Americans. We pro-life activists really do believe that abortion in cases of rape, for example, are murder, and that murder and accomplices to murder (mothers) should be prosecuted just as if they were to kill a toddler. Yet we regularly support such laws that permit abortion in cases of rape and that refuse to allow prosecution of accomplices because this is the least that the courts would let us get away with.
I think the argument could be made from history and from the Bible that when courts rule contrary to the Constitution and contrary to the law of God, they should be ignored, nullified, and states should do their duty and prosecute murderers in their lawful jurisdiction. It’s how states ended slavery long before the “Emancipation Proclamation” – by nullifying the High Court’s “Dred Scott” decision, which said a black man was a property, not person. States like Wisconsin nullified Congress’ Fugitive Slave Act, which declared that runaway slaves had to be returned to their whip-wielding slave-masters. States didn’t wait for those laws to be overturned by a sensible Congress. They didn’t wait to get an anti-slavery majority on the High Court. They simply refused to obey unlawful federal law. They did their duty and protected slaves as people.*
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Nullification is how seven states have resisted federal policy on gun law, and several states are resisting Obamacare mandates. It is how 2005’s Real ID Act was buried. It is working with medical marijuana all over the country! In 2001 and 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that the states may not legalize medical marijuana and as of today, 18 states and D.C. have bucked it, nullified it, ignored it, and legalized marijuana. They didn’t try to overturn the courts, and they didn’t ask the courts for permission. The courts were outside of their lawful jurisdiction to rule on drugs (per the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution), and the states acted. Legalizing marijuana may be bad medicine, but an exercise of states’ rights that we can admire. Oh, that pro-lifers could be so bold in stopping child-dismemberment as migraine sufferers are to smoke pot!
Take home message: Stop trying to ask the courts for permission to do what God requires. The shedding of innocent blood will bring God’s wrath on your cities and communities. Fear God, and do justice for those threatened babies. “It is better to obey God than man.”
(* One of the most thrilling historical exercises of lawful state sovereignty in resisting federal tyranny is found in the story of runaway slave Joshua Glover, which you can read here.)
© 2013 Patrick Johnston - All Rights Reserved